RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 138,386
Posts: 5,358,017
Members: 24,626
Currently online: 653
Newest member: suryaprabu02

TrekToday headlines

The Gene Roddenberry Project Kickstarter
By: T'Bonz on Jul 30

Moore: No Deep Space Nine Regrets
By: T'Bonz on Jul 30

Pegg Star Wars Rumor
By: T'Bonz on Jul 30

Borg Cube Fridge
By: T'Bonz on Jul 29

Free Enterprise Kickstarter
By: T'Bonz on Jul 29

Siddig To Join Game Of Thrones
By: T'Bonz on Jul 29

Sci-Fried To Release New Album
By: T'Bonz on Jul 28

Star Trek/Planet of the Apes Crossover
By: T'Bonz on Jul 28

Star Trek into Darkness Soundtrack
By: T'Bonz on Jul 28

Horse 1, Shatner 0
By: T'Bonz on Jul 28


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 28 2011, 02:07 AM   #1
ReadyAndWilling
Fleet Captain
 
Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement?

hi all, so this idea came across my mind earlier today before work.

maybe i'm not the only one, but i've always loved science fiction -- even before i started high school. the ideas it brings forth, for me, seem to open my mind up while i'm watching. whether it's the terminator, star trek, stargate, star wars etc etc. they all seem to fascinate me more and more through the unique ideas and characters that are presented.

maybe i'm just deluding myself into thinking i'm learning something when i'm just 'watching tv' and not really learning anything of value.
ReadyAndWilling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 02:41 AM   #2
Silvercrest
Rear Admiral
 
Location: Lost in Moria (Arlington, WA, USA)
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

There's nothing wrong with learning things from s.f. as long as you're able and willing (and ready) to recognize where fact ends and fiction begins.

There are a lot of people on this board who are convinced that a human being will instantly explode like a bomb when placed in vacuum, that black holes are gigantic space Hoovers (or gigantic space tunnels), and that you can exceed the speed of light if you can only build a big enough rocket. Because they saw it onscreen and treat it as gospel.

If you see it on a science-fiction show (or anywhere else on TV), question it. Read up on it. Determine if it's plausible or just the output of someone's fevered imagination. Then you are learning something of value.
Silvercrest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 04:12 AM   #3
Nerys Myk
Fleet Admiral
 
Nerys Myk's Avatar
 
Location: House of Kang, now with ridges
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

It makes me look stuff up and also have fun.
__________________
The boring one, the one with Khan, the one where Spock returns, the one with whales, the dumb one, the last one, the one with Kirk, the one with the Borg, the stupid one, the bad one, the new one, the other one with Khan.
Nerys Myk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 04:15 AM   #4
Starbreaker
Fleet Admiral
 
Starbreaker's Avatar
 
Location: Chattanooga, TN
View Starbreaker's Twitter Profile
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

I used to just enjoy it for entertainment purposes when I was younger, but now I've very interested in physics and astronomy thanks to authors like Stephen Baxter.
__________________
Currently Reading: The Abominable by Dan Simmons
Starbreaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 04:51 AM   #5
xortex
Commodore
 
Location: Staten Island, NY
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

There is a point of knowing too much like Faust and you'll be paralyzed by it and won't want to go back to work. As Kurt Cobain said. Who needs action when you got words. Well put together stories, and not a string of events, is thrilling but we as a society are over stimulated. Look what happened to the Talosians. They probably looked just like us when they started watching tv. Great liturature is meant to expand your mind and capacity for thought and ability to appreciate the things you didn't before. So it does teach compassion and empathy as well as cynacism.
xortex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 04:55 AM   #6
Lookingglassman
Admiral
 
Lookingglassman's Avatar
 
Location: America
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

Entertainment.
Lookingglassman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 05:00 AM   #7
Kelthaz
Rear Admiral
 
Kelthaz's Avatar
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

Just entertainment. The entertainment might be a little bit deeper at times (Babylon 5 vs. Power Rangers for example), but it's all just a bunch of wibbly-wobbly nonsense meant for entertainment. I've never learned anything more than useless (and awesome) trivia from science fiction.
__________________
"Who are you?! And how did you get in here?!"

"I'm the locksmith. And... I'm the locksmith."
Kelthaz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 05:18 AM   #8
Mysterion
Rear Admiral
 
Mysterion's Avatar
 
Location: SB-31, Daran V
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

If you have been inspired by science fiction to go learn science, I think that is fantastic. Go for it!

If you're learning your science from science fiction, you are more than likely doing yourself a disservice. Put down the Star Trek, and get back to school!

You shouldn't be teaching yourself astrophysics by watching Star Wars any more than you should be teaching yourself the history of the Korean War by watching M.A.S.H. re-runs, or how to be a doctor by watching Grey's Anatomy.
__________________
USS Galileo Galilei, NCC-8888
Prima Inter Pares
Mysterion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 05:19 AM   #9
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

It depends on what science fiction you mean. A lot of SF literature is very educational and expands your knowledge of the universe. Most mass-media SF just misleads you about how the universe works. If you want SF to be educational rather than just entertaining, then you need it to be SF you read rather than SF you watch.

There are a few SF films and movies that actually count as informative. 2001 and 2010 have pretty accurate space science. Contact is a very realistic movie. Jurassic Park had pretty solid paleontology and biology for its day, allowing for poetic license like tiptoeing T. rexes, though a number of its assumptions about dinosaurs are now outdated. Gattaca deals pretty well with genetic engineering.

In TV, the early seasons of ST:TNG often featured real astrophysical phenomena and credible science rather than the random technobabble that later Trek seasons increasingly embraced. Similarly, the first couple of seasons of Primeval were educational about the life forms of lesser-known geological eras, going beyond the usual cliches of dinosaurs and sabertooth cats and giving viewers a broader sampling of ancient life, although one had to allow for a degree of dramatic exaggeration; but more recent seasons have abandoned any pretense of science and have tended to be about dinosaur this and bizarre future creature that, and with the main scientist character gone there's a lot less exposition than there used to be. Then there's Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, whose first season and a half were just about the hardest hard-SF show that's ever been on TV, but that then degenerated into inanity. Sense a pattern?

On the other hand, the Stargate franchise bucked the trend by becoming more scientifically literate over time. The movie was cliched ancient-astronaut crap, and the TV series was initially only marginally better and often badly screwed up its anthropology and history, but as time went on, the producers started putting more care into the science, phasing out some of the sillier ideas, and working in some good science here and there, although it was hit-and-miss. They totally screwed up the science in their famous "Carter blows up a star" episode (stars lose mass to the stellar wind all the time, so removing mass from them wouldn't make their cores blow up), and their stuff with the Ancients and the "first evolution of humanity" was ridiculous from a biological standpoint, but on the flipside, the SG-1 episode "Tangent" was a marvelous, beautiful piece of hard SF where they really did the research and put care into getting the technical details right, and "Prophecy" had one of the best discussions of quantum physics I've ever seen on TV. Then when you get to Stargate Universe, they brought on respected SF novelist John Scalzi as a technical consultant and their astrophysics and planetary science became substantially better than on either of the previous SG shows.

But overall, remember, if you hear "science fiction" and think only of TV and movies, then you're overlooking the vast majority of what science fiction is. TV and film SF barely scratch the surface. It's mostly just entry-level stuff. There is so much more out there in books and short stories, going so far beyond the mass-media stuff in its range and depth and diversity and sheer quantity.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 05:20 AM   #10
FalTorPan
Vice Admiral
 
FalTorPan's Avatar
 
Location: Out there... thataway.
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

I would be more inclined to consider literary sf more educational than I'd consider TV or movie sf to be, but I consider sf in both media to be almost entirely entertainment -- occasionally thought-provoking entertainment.
__________________
Watch ASTRONUTS! Visit Trekplace! Check out my personal website!
FalTorPan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 05:27 AM   #11
Davros
Fleet Admiral
 
Davros's Avatar
 
Location: Kaled bunker, Skaro
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

Some is educational, some is entertainment.
__________________
"Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society," -Oliver Wendell Holmes
Davros is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 10:39 AM   #12
sojourner
Vice Admiral
 
sojourner's Avatar
 
Location: I'm at WKRP
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

There's a reason it's called science fiction. It's a great place to develop questions, but a terrible place to get answers.
__________________
Baby, you and me were never meant to be, just maybe think of me once in a while...
sojourner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 11:07 AM   #13
stonester1
Rear Admiral
 
stonester1's Avatar
 
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

The best ones make me think, and not about the science (although it's fine if it does, but bad/pulp/or hard science, I consider just a prop. But if you give me overtly bad science and combine it with a crappy story, say, Armageddon, you will lose me), but the philosophy, the meaning of things, the questions of life, the universe, everything, relationships, people, spirituality, etc.

But if you give me great characters I care about, an interesting universe, and toys n 'splosions, I'll enjoy that, too.

If you give me the latter of the above WITHOUT THE FORMER...pass.
__________________
"New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled, the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in them?' " - H. G. Wells
stonester1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 11:50 AM   #14
Silent_Bob
Fleet Captain
 
Silent_Bob's Avatar
 
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

I wouldnt say any Science fiction is necessarily educational, i certainly wouldnt rely on it to learn things, mainly because any real science is paired with a fair bit of nonsense.

For example Stargate is useful from an Egyptology standpoint because of the effort the makers put into the Abyddosian language, it's pretty much as close to spoken Ancient Egyptian as you're going to get without a time machine, but thats somewhat negated by the daft "Aliens built the Pyramids".

What i would call Science Fiction is thought provoking. Good science fiction shouldn't be focused on the science but the effect it has on the world. It should raise questions about technology or future events, how would we deal with it, how would society change.

A novel about how the martians invaded Earth, how they built their ships and the science behind lining up the shot when the two planets are in opposition and the mathematical formulae behind it would bore me to tears. But a book that uses that as a jumping off point to show the chaos and calamity of an extra terrestrial invasion, well thats 'War of the Worlds' and theres a reason its still read 113 years later.
__________________
"Does the cold of deep space make your nipples go pointy Bowie? Do you use your pointy nipples as telescopic antennae to transmit data back to Earth? I bet you do, you freaky old bastard you"
Silent_Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28 2011, 12:34 PM   #15
stonester1
Rear Admiral
 
stonester1's Avatar
 
Re: Science Fiction: Do you find it educational or just entertainement

Silent_Bob wrote: View Post
What i would call Science Fiction is thought provoking. Good science fiction shouldn't be focused on the science but the effect it has on the world. It should raise questions about technology or future events, how would we deal with it, how would society change.
Hear hear.
__________________
"New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled, the humiliating question arises, 'Why then are you not taking part in them?' " - H. G. Wells
stonester1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.